Based on our corporate mission of contributing to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship, our social contribution activities focus on the following areas:
By combining our technology and human innovation, we are working to transform society while enhancing our long-term competitiveness.
Our business is deeply connected to local communities, and we believe their challenges are our own. As we see it, growing together with communities is a win-win, locally and globally.
By promoting products and services that are produced with ethical practices and have positive social, environmental and economic impacts, we give consumers the opportunity to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.
Local communities are our business partners, both in Japan and around the world. Rakuten is committed to empowering local people through support for disaster recovery efforts.
Rakuten, embracing new thinking and inspiring innovation to change the world.
Promoting Employee Participation
Rakuten has introduced volunteer leave systems and volunteer programs to facilitate and promote employee participation in social contribution activities. Such activities include disaster recovery efforts and visits to foster homes to spend time with the children in care.
The Rakuten Social Empowerment Network was established for employees who are interested in addressing social issues together. The Network provides opportunities to learn about social issues through regular study sessions and workshops with external professionals. Through such activities, employees cultivate a keener awareness of social contributions and cooperate to empower society.
For over 10 years, the pro bono Rakuten IT School provided nearly 7,000 high school students with hands-on opportunities to experience e-commerce. By taking charge of products or accommodation plans on Rakuten Ichiba or Rakuten Travel and engaging in actual sales, these students had a chance to put their unique ideas to work and get a taste of what it is like to run a business. In 2018, the program underwent a pivotal transformation and became “Rakuten IT School NEXT,” offering high school students the chance to develop their creativity beyond online retail. Teams of students are given tasks that entail coming up with innovative ways to address issues faced by their local communities, such as aging populations, natural disaster recovery, and abandoned farmland. Across Japan, teams survey their neighborhoods to identify problems and devise solutions by leveraging Rakuten services and technologies. With Rakuten employees guiding them each step of the way, students develop their creativity and turn original ideas into concrete action plans to empower their communities.
The Rakuten Social Accelerator is a collaborative program that brings together social entrepreneurs and Rakuten employees to tackle critical issues facing society today using technology. Rakuten supports social entrepreneurs in the process of learning from customers, creating products, developing marketing techniques, resolving social issues, and making organizations stronger with the specific knowledge and resources we have as an internet service provider. By putting Rakuten technologies to work, we aim to support entrepreneurs who are taking on the challenge of finding fundamental solutions to social issues. In 2018, six social entrepreneurs worked together with Rakuten employees on issues ranging from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program for children to energy solutions for African rural areas.
The Rakuten Clutch Special Charity Fund is an online donation system that allows users to make donations through Rakuten’s various payment services. It came into existence following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, when Rakuten received thousands of requests from customers who wanted to express their support for victims of the earthquake. Today, donations can be made using a variety of different methods, including contributions of “Rakuten Super Points,” to people and organizations in need. Through the fund, donations are collected over the internet for various causes, such as disaster recovery, supporting children’s futures, and protecting biological diversity.
The mascot of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles baseball team, “Clutch”, is modeled on the golden eagle, a bird of prey species that has been facing extinction. Only about 500 remain in the wild as environmental changes have deprived the birds of their natural habitat. In 2014, Rakuten and numerous partners launched the “Rakuten’s Forest” initiatives to recover the biological habitat of the golden eagle. As of August 1, 2016, 504.34 hectares of forest have been conserved through the initiative.
Data on Philanthropic Activities
Total number of hours volunteered
Total amount of donations collected through Rakuten Clutch Special Charity Fund
- Data as of December 31, 2018
- Data Boundaries: Rakuten, Inc.
- Volunteered hour target: 20,000h by 2022 (2016: 14,196h; 2017: 11,424h)